Pokémon Go is constantly evolving, just like your Pokémon. Well, hopefully if you're doing it right. Keep up-to-date on all the latest announcements here.
Pokémon GO news
Here's a summary of what's happening in March 2018:
- 16 March - 2 April: Lugia returns to raids
- 25 March: Community Day - a three hour global event that will feature Bulbasaur, 3-hour lures and triple XP for catches.
We were expecting a new raid boss a couple of days before Rayquaza disappeared from the game on 16 March. Rumour had it that Regirock, Regice and Registeel will be coming next - or Latios and Latias - but it's actually Lugia making a return.
That's great news for those who missed the bird the first time around, but for those who already have Lugia, now it will have a new move (a newly improved move, no less) - the Flying-type move Sky Attack.
When is Pokémon GO Community Day #3?
In order to give players more motivation to meet up, there is now a featured Pokémon to catch once per month on Community Day. The Pokémon tends to have exclusive moves, and there are bonuses such as more XP or Stardust and lure modules will work for three hours.
The next one is on Sunday 25 March and it will be Bulbasaur. For this event, you'll get triple XP for catching Pokémon.
Aside from switching from Saturday to Sunday, timings are the same as for the last one, so it'll run from 10am to 1pm in the UK (and Europe, Middle East, Africa and India). In the Americas, and Greenland, it'll run from 11am to 2pm. In Asia, it's 12 to 3pm.
You can check the Community Day page to see the details of the next event.
These are the new Pokémon to available catch, hatch or evolve in the most recent waves.
Aggron - also available as a Raid boss
Lunatone - regional exclusive
Solrock - regional exclusive
Rayquaza - in legendary raids until 16 March
Kyogre - in legendary raids (not currently in game)
Groudon - in legendary raids (not currently in game)
Quests are coming!
Discovered in the code for the latest game update are Quests. Essentially, these are thought to be new daily challenges to add to the current 'catch a Pokemon' and 'spin a Poke Stop'.
When enabled in a future update, these could involve extra bonuses for:
- Hatching an egg
- Winning a gym battle
- Getting a medal
- Walking your buddy
- Feeding a berry at a gym
- Completing a Raid battle
There are two types of quests, 'story' and 'challenge' so some of the above (or those not yet in the code) may be available only if you meet other criteria. We're excited to see this new mechanic appear soon.
AR+ on iPhones
Also, if you haven't tried it yet, ARKit has landed in Pokemon GO in the form of AR+. Here's a guide on how to use AR+.
The new mode provides an enhanced augmented reality experience with better tracking and general performances boosts. The catch? It's available only to iOS users running iOS 11 on an iPhone 6s or newer. See how to update your iPhone here.
No Pokémon Go for iPhone 5 or 5C
Niantic has officially ended support for the game on devices which can't be updated to iOS 11. That means iPhone 5 and 5C (and all previous 32-bit models).
If you play on an iPad, it means the game will work only on iPad Air or later, and iPad mini 2 onwards. The full list of affected devices is here.
Basically, Niantic is canning the 32-bit version of the app so it can continue to develop the 64-bit version, including adding more features and improving performance. Having to develop only one version could also mean we see new features quicker.
The next game update (expected imminently) will introduce this change.
Niantic clarified that you won't actually have to update to iOS 11 to play: you simply need a 64-bit phone or iPad:
Actually, Trainers will still be able to play the game using iOS 9 and above. The device must be compatible with iOS 11, but it doesn't need to be upgraded to iOS 11 at this point. For more information: https://t.co/1Xv2XOyf8d— Niantic Support (@NianticHelp) 10 January 2018
Top tip: If you are going to be playing Pokémon GO you are probably going to need a power bank. We highly recommend the Anker PowerCore 10,000 or Zendure A2 - pocketable, high-capacity batteries that charge your phone fast and are also pretty tough. If you're taking out young kids who have tablets but not phones, it's also worth considering Mi-Fi (mobile Wi-Fi routers).
Gen III and weather in Pokemon GO
There are now over 100 new monsters to catch from Gen III. A game update late in 2017 brought dynamic weather into the game, followed by the AR+ mentioned above.
Not only does the weather affect the visual effects and colour of the map, but it also effectively changes which Pokémon are likely to appear. So when it rains, you'll see more Pokémon that prefer this weather such as Mudkip and Lotad. It also works well for Castform, a Pokémon which changes its form depending on the weather.
There's a bonus too, as certain types of Pokémon are boosted by certain weather types. This increases their level (and Combat Power) and you'll earn extra Stardust for catching weather-boosted Pokémon.
Here's how sun, rain and snow affect the look of the map (which - incidentally - has changed from Google data to OpenStreetMap). You can read our guide to dynamic weather for more.
What's going on with EX Raid Battles?
As explained in a blog post, the invitation system for EX Raid Battles has been tweaked again.
- EX Raids take place at Gyms in parks and sponsored locations, for the most part.
- You're now definitely more likely to get an invite if you have a high-level Gym Badge at those Gyms (not just any Gym).
- More invites will go out per gym.
- You need to have taken part in Raid Battles in the week preceding the day when invites are sent out.
- The start times now take into account popular Raid Battle times at that Gym.
- You'll get an in-game notification if the EX Raid Battle is cancelled.
- You'll get Stardust and Premium Raid Passes when an EX Raid Battle is cancelled.
Here are some top tips on how to get an EX Raid pass, including which gyms are eligible.
Trading & PvP battles
In an interview with Bloomberg, Pokémon Company CEO Tsunekazu Ishihara confirmed that both trading and PvP (player versus player) battles would be coming to Pokémon GO.
He said, “We’ve only accomplished 10 percent of what Pokémon and Niantic are trying to do, so going forward we will have to include fundamental Pokémon experiences such as Pokémon trading and peer-to-peer battles, and other possibilities.”
How do I catch legendary Pokémon?
Legendaries aren't out in the wild. So to catch one, you need to arrange to attend a Raid with at least 5-6 other players (more if players are below level 30).
It's best to find a Battle at a Gym held by your own team since you'll get more balls after defeating the Raid Boss at a gym you own.
You won't be able to leave your legendary Pokémon in a gym to defend it, though.
If you don't know enough people who play the game, download the Discord app. There are lots of 'servers' (groups) already set up for specific regions and areas for arranging Raids. You can also search for local Facebook groups.
Gyms have been completely revamped since the game launched (not the battling mechanism, though). Here's what's happened.
First, gyms now act like Poké Stops and you'll get items by spinning their photo disc.
Next, gyms have six permanent slots. Each can be filled with a Pokémon (belonging to a member of the controlling team) but they must be unique, putting an end to multiple Blissey, Dragonite, Tyrannitar and Snorlax.
Pokémons in gyms have a 'motivation meter' represented by a heart icon and its CP will decrease along with its motivation as it has more battles. Trainers can give any Pokémon in one of their team's gyms more berries to restore motivation, but if it loses all motivation it will return to its trainer.
Also, when you fight at a gym, you'll take on the Pokémon in the order they were assigned to the gym, not in CP order.
You now earn new gym badges, which you can level up from the basic badge. The system goes Bronze > Silver > Gold.
You need the following points for each level:
- Basic: 0
- Bronze: 500
- Silver: 4,000
- Gold: 30,000
Bronze level gives you +1 bonus item when you spin the photo disc, and you'll get +2 or +3 for Silver and Gold levels.
A raid battle is where to 20 players will battle together at a gym to defeat the Raid Boss. You get 5 minutes to defeat it.
You'll need a Raid Pass in order to be able to take part, and you can get one free one per day by visiting a gym. Those that want to battle more will have a buy a Premium Raid Pass from the in-game shop.
Before a Raid Battle, the Pokémon in the gym are all kicked out and a big egg timer sits on top of the gym with a 1-hour countdown to the battle.
If you win you'll get some Premier Poké Balls and Golden Razz Berries to try and catch the uber-powerful Pokémon. The special items you'll get from a battle can include:
- Rare Candies - turns into a Pokémon's candy type when used on that Pokémon
- Golden Razz Berries - Much better chance of capturing a Pokémon (or can be used to fully restore motivation meter if the Pokémon is in a gym)
- Technical Machines - Fast and Charged. These can 'train' a Pokémon a new attack type (which it keeps permanently).
- Potions - Usually Hyper or Super potions for healing fainted Pokémon.
- Revives - These are now fairly rare, so the more you get the better, typically.
- Premier Poké Balls - use these to try to catch the Raid Boss after the battle.
As you can see in the screen above left, it's possible to use a group code so you can battle with only your mates and keep out spoofers.
You can't keep any leftover Premier balls, but this isn't a terrible tragedy: they're basically the same as standard Poké Balls in terms of effectiveness. Also, here's how to use Technical Machines you're awarded.
What is Pokémon GO?
Pokémon GO is a mobile game for Android and iPhone developed by The Pokémon Company and Niantic, a former Google startup that has since branched out on its own and is known for its earlier augmented-reality mobile game Ingress. Nintendo is also contributing with the development and manufacture of the companion Pokémon GO Plus.
John Hanke, founder of Niantic, said: "For the first time, Pokémon will roam free in the real world. Pokémon GO will allow players to capture Pokémon who inhabit parks, shopping areas, sidewalks and the countryside all around the world. Imagine discovering a Squirtle hiding along the waterfront in San Francisco, a Bulbasaur at Shinjuku Station or a Pikachu beneath the Eiffel Tower."
In Pokémon GO the aim is to locate, catch, battle and trade Pokémon, and you are encouraged to connect with other nearby Pokémon GO players as you do so.
"Get on your feet and step outside to find and catch wild Pokémon. Explore cities and towns around where you live and even around the globe to capture as many Pokémon as you can. As you move around, your smartphone will vibrate to let you know you're near a Pokémon. Once you've encountered a Pokémon, take aim on your smartphone's touch screen and throw a Poké Ball to catch it. Be careful when you try to catch it, or it might run away! Also look for PokéStops located at interesting places, such as public art installations, historical markers, and monuments, where you can collect more Poké Balls and other items," writes The Pokémon Company on its official blog.